April 19, 2010 / 6:03 AM / 9 years ago

"Pornography: A Thriller" a multiple misnomer

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - It’s helpful that the makers of “Pornography: A Thriller” have provided a description in the title because otherwise it would be hard to tell exactly what the hell the film is supposed to be.

This ambitious, elliptical three-part meditation about the disappearance of a gay porn star wears its Lynch/Cronenberg aspirations a little too heavily. Despite a definite visual stylishness, the film is more baffling than intriguing. It opened in limited release on Friday.

In the first segment, we witness an interview being given by porn actor Mark Anton (Jared Grey) to a mysterious client who apparently has paid for the privilege; he’s subsequently never heard from again. Cut to years later, when lovers Michael (Matthew Montgomery) and William (Walter Delmar) move into the apartment where Anton was last seen and become obsessed with discovering what happened to him. Finally, a contemporary porn star-turned-filmmaker (Pete Scherer) decides that the event will be the subject of his next film, with the result that he begins to have horrific nightmares.

Writer-director David Kittredge clearly has serious things on his mind about such subjects as voyeurism, the thin line between fantasy and reality, the link between sex and violence, etc., but whatever points he is trying to make are lost in the general muddle. Hampered by schematic characterizations, weak performances, sluggish pacing, an overly dense structure and propensity for self-indulgent affectations, “Pornography: A Thriller” ultimately is neither sexy nor thrilling.

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